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Why does the underside of my valve cover look like this? (pic enclosed)

Posted by 98FWDSM, Jan 13, 2005
Newbie Forum - Beginner DSM modification questions and discussions. Common, repetitive, and general discussions will get dumped here from other tech forums. Unless you're a Probationary member you shouldn't post threads here.

  1. 98FWDSM

    98FWDSM Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS
    ok, i am replacing the valve cover gasket and when i took my valve cover off this is what the underside looked like....why does it look this way and is it bad???

    Thanks :dsm:
     

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  2. IamCool

    IamCool Proven Member

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    HOLY SH$T! DAMN that looks bad. I took my prelude vtec valve cover off and it look nothing like that.
     
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  3. HybridAWD

    HybridAWD Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS
    looks like it has seen a lot of heat, i couldnt tell you why that is happening though.
     
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  4. 98FWDSM

    98FWDSM Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS

    about 4 months ago before i had my radiator replaced i ran it for about 2 or 3 minutes with the temperature gauge at its highest point...i know it was stupid but nonetheless over with now :rolleyes:

    also, she has ALWAYS been very hot under the hood, doesnt overheat but is just very hot, i thought that all DSM's were like this though
     
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  5. Mike1992

    Mike1992 Proven Member

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    Springfield, Missouri
    I think thats normal, my valve cvoer looked like that on the underside when i did the gasket and painted it. I just cleaned it really well and now its spotless.

    Heat-Oil Buildup Crud

    I didnt see the black until now, I dunno wWTF is up with that but I didnt have that.
     
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  6. HybridAWD

    HybridAWD Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS
    yeah i mean i dont think it's a major issue, but running the car at it's hottest point wasnt good either....sh** happens, as long as it's not broke....yet...dont fix it :)
     
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  7. Shifty

    Shifty Proven Member

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    What oil do you use?
     
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  8. 98FWDSM

    98FWDSM Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS
    i used to use Castrol GTX 10W-30 with a FRAM oil filter, my last 3 oil changes have been Castrol GTX high mileage 10W-30 with a Bosch oil filter....car has 116,000 miles on her
     
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  9. IHeartTurbo

    IHeartTurbo Proven Member

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    Weld, Maine
    I can't tell good from the pic, but it kinda looks like carbon?
     
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  10. steve

    steve DSM Wiseman

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    St. Charles, Illinois
    It looks like it's missing the baffle around the PVC area, where all the carbon buildup is.

    Steve
     
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  11. Tongboy

    Tongboy Proven Member

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    Oregon City,OR/Pullman,Wa, Washington
    yellowing is normal for a car that doesn't have its oil changed damn near constantly

    the black looks like burnt oil or carbon buildup, hard to tell from the pic but it does look pretty expansive, certainly not something that happens from running the car full hot for a few minutes, thats a long term thing there
     
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  12. Defiant

    Defiant DSM Wiseman

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    glorious Galt, California
    Yeah, looks like the oil got a bit warm. Nothing terribly drastic.

    You lucked-out with that overheating episode.
     
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  13. XtremeGST

    XtremeGST Proven Member

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    ive ceen this happen before and it was just carbon buildup, we took simple green degreaser and it cleaned it up like nothing. i run 5w-30 synthetic in my car.
     
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  14. 98FWDSM

    98FWDSM Proven Member

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    , VirginiaUS
    what is the best solvent to try to clean it off?? possibly a dumb question but can i just use regular soap or will it mess up something?? also, would changing my type of oil help me any?

    Thanks :dsm:
     
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  15. RamenPride

    RamenPride Proven Member

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    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    i used engine degreaser and hot water first, then I used soft scrub after that.
     
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  16. vtracer20

    vtracer20 Proven Member

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    i'll let u know what mine looks like in a next couple weeks once i replace my valve cover (cracks in it leaking oil) also will be replacing the gasket
     
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  17. ryanman

    ryanman Proven Member

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    Kodiak, Alaska
    It's from not changing the oil at regular intervals.
     
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  18. DiabloRT

    DiabloRT Proven Member

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    The inside of my crankcase on the 97 GST is nice clean alluminum. ....thanks Full SYN like Mobile 1 and Castrol Syn......changed every 2k to 2.5k miles.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. psychlow

    psychlow Proven Member

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    ^^^^

    It looks like the oil was used for way too long in that engine. The underside of valve covers are great tools for guaging how well an engine was maintained, along with compression checks and the overall vehicle condition.
     
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  20. ProjectTalon130

    ProjectTalon130 Proven Member

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    G-bury, Connecticut
    I would have to agree with everyone else on this, nothing too crazy to worry about...with how weak our valve covers are to pressure and so forth , I would imagine the thing would crack open before some black buildup on the underside would cause any damage.
     
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  21. Lunch_Box

    Lunch_Box Proven Member

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    Sherwood Park, Alberta_Canada
    Thats what the underside of my friends valve covered looked like when he over heated his engine to the point of plastic parts starting to melt.
     
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  22. ryanman

    ryanman Proven Member

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    This is actually a good thread, it brings up another good point about buying used cars with aluminum heads, easiest way to check to see if a car has had regular oil changes/been taken care of is to pop off the oil cap and take a look inside the motor and look at the discoloration of the aluminum.
     
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  23. Mike1992

    Mike1992 Proven Member

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    Springfield, Missouri
    If thats the case, my car didnt get regular oil changes because when i did my gasket a few months back, the inside of my head was very very brown. Not clean looking. sigh....
     
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  24. Jeff_Jeske

    Jeff_Jeske Proven Member

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    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    That is normal unless you run synthetic oil.

    I am using mobile drive clean....it has detergent but is not synthetic. Slowly but surely it cleans the motor up....or if it was clean it stays clean.

    That cover looks like 95% of the DSMs I have worked on.

    These cars get hot no doubt about it.
     
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  25. 95TSiNewbie

    95TSiNewbie Proven Member

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    Mine was a little discolored on that side and i was worried so I called a local Mitsu dealership and the mechanic their said that it can happen on the far side of the valve cover because its the furthest point from the oil pump and fresh oil doesnt always travel to the far side of the head. Not sure if thats true but thats what i was told.
     
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